Whilst actively trying to recoup the costs of treating foreigners, the regional Minister of Health, Marciano Gómez, announced during his appearance in Les Corts “the largest budget in history allocated to Valencian public health for the year 2024, which amounts to 8,5 billion euro.”
In this sense, he highlighted that for next year “the Department of Health will have 245 million euro more compared to the previous year, which represents 2.9% more.” Furthermore, – he continued – “this is the first budget for health change that will allocate more than 23 million euro every day to strengthen the Valencian health system, to guarantee equitable access for the entire population, as well as guide quality assistance towards excellence”.
Marciano Gómez has highlighted the eminent social nature of the Generalitat’s budgets, “aimed at reinforcing and developing efficient management of public resources, including health services, to improve the well-being and quality of all Valencians.”
During his speech, the minister stressed the importance of promoting loyalty measures among professionals, and explained that with this objective the budgets of his department allocate 204.8 million euro to improve the working conditions of personnel in training in residence regime. “A measure that is part of a new incentive and loyalty plan so that those resident doctors who complete their training remain in our health system, just as work is being done on a specific regulatory framework that encourages professionals in positions of difficult coverage,” he indicated.
Gómez has stated that almost half of the global Health budget will be allocated to personnel “with the aim of improving working conditions and the provision of human resources in healthcare centres.”
Regarding the chapter on personnel expenses, he highlighted the significant amount that will be allocated to improving the conditions of the health system’s personnel. “This is an ambitious personnel policy that includes measures to promote job stability, professional development opportunities, family conciliation, recognition of merit and adequate remuneration incentives,” said Marciano Gómez.
Personnel expenses for 2024 amount to 4 billion euro, a figure that represents an increase of 386 million euro, 10.4% more than in the previous year. As the councillor insisted, “this is a very important budget item, which will ensure the same conditions for each and every one of the professionals who make up the Valencian health system.”
37.6 million euro will be allocated to staff new centres such as the Hospital d’Ontinyent, the expansion of the Clinical Hospital and the reinforcement of the Health Emergency Service and the mental health units. On the other hand, 236 million euro are allocated to integrating the staff of the health departments of Dénia and Manises into the public health system.
Likewise, in order to standardise the personnel of the entire health system, in the hospital consortia of Valencia and Castellón, the nature change will be carried out in some jobs of labour and civil servants.
The councillor referred to the more than 65,000 health professionals, who he described as “the greatest capital available to Valencian health care because with their effort and dedication they make it possible every day for our health system to function under criteria of quality, safety and humanity”. For this reason, the budget allocated to positive incentives and strengthening of management agreements has been increased by 50%.
On the other hand, as indicated by the Minister, “the priority axis of the political strategy will focus on organisational improvements, both at the level of health management and clinical management, especially in Primary Care.” For this reason, more than 700 million euro will be allocated to this area of care, a third of the Health Care budget. To this amount, we must add 1 billion euro allocated for the staff of these health centres.
In this way, the Ministry of Health is already carrying out the necessary actions to undertake a structural reform of Primary Care. As Marciano Gómez explained, “Primary Care already has its own general direction and a specific budget item. In addition, this year we will begin to implement measures that allow the Primary Care teams to be organically and functionally reorganised.”
Among the main strategic lines that will be developed in Primary Care are measures to “debureaucratise” care and “reduce administrative procedures”. Furthermore, the objective is to implement shared management of healthcare demand for all professional categories.
Likewise, the Minister of Health has reiterated “the importance of facilitating access to diagnostic tests and examinations in the shortest possible time with the corresponding report.” In addition, an increase in technological equipment will be carried out, such as ultrasound machines, retinography, dermatoscopes, etc., in order to improve the resolution capacity of Primary Care centres and thus reduce referrals to specialist care centres.
On the other hand, the Generalitat has reserved an important item in the health budgets for mental health care and the care of chronic patients or patients who require social health care.
In this sense, Marciano Gómez has highlighted “the special interest of the Ministry of Health in improving the resources and services intended to care for people who suffer from a mental health problem.”
In this sense, he highlighted the creation of an autonomous Mental Health and Addictions Office, whose task is to coordinate, in a transversal manner, the strategic policy and develop a new Mental Health and Addictions Plan that responds to the current healthcare needs in this area. In fact, mental health care will have 20 million euro more in 2024, which represents a growth of 17%.
In total, 143 million euro will be allocated for mental health and social health care, “which will allow us to improve human and material resources for comprehensive mental health care, such as increasing the number of social health beds for chronic cases or the implementation of preventive policies against suicide and addictions,” said the councillor.
Gómez explained that the coordination of social and mental health care policies through the new offices of Mental Health and Addictions and Social and Health Care will allow for more efficient management of available resources.
Regarding the improvement of healthcare centres, the health budget includes an item of 529.2 million euro for the real investments chapter. During his appearance, the councillor stated that the objective is “to achieve the highest degree of execution, that is, for citizens to benefit from the total budgeted and not as has happened in recent years.”
In this sense, 73.9 million euro are allocated to the construction of new centres, such as the expansion of the Valencia Clinical Hospital, the completion of the Ontinyent hospital, the first procedures for the new Arnau de Vilanova hospital, the Protonterapia de la Fe or the new health and specialty centres in Campanar.
Likewise, 147.7 million euro are contemplated for the expansion and reform of hospital centres, such as those planned in the department of Marina Baixa, Elx, Orihuela, La Plana or the General Hospital of Castelló. Regarding the construction and renovation of Primary Care health centres, 73.7 million euro are planned for the PAU II and Rincón de Loix centres in Benidorm in the province of Alicante; Vinaròs and Moncofa, in the province of Castellón; Oliva or Puerto de Sagunto, in the province of Valencia.
On the other hand, one of the objectives is to carry out a technological renewal of health institutions. To do this, -explained the councillor- “we must incorporate the latest advances in the field of information and communication technologies, such as artificial intelligence or Big Data techniques.” This technological commitment has a budget item of 82 million euro, 8.4% more than the previous budget.
Likewise, the Minister of Health has addressed the importance of providing answers to current needs, “which is why we have developed the GVA Digital Health Strategy, which will allow us to make a great qualitative leap at a technological level.”
This new strategy contemplates a boost in digital services, progress towards a Single Electronic Medical Record, a Health Data Space of the Valencian Community based on artificial intelligence, the reinforcement of cybersecurity and the modernization of applications.